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PJM Interconnection's board of directors has approved almost $2 billion in electric transmission upgrades designed to maintain reliable electric power supplies in the wake of recently announced power plant retirements. The PJM region includes 60 million people in 13 states and the District of Columbia.

Since November, generation owners in PJM have announced plans to retire nearly 14 GW of generation between now and the end of 2015.

The PJM board approved more than 130 transmission upgrades related to the generation retirements. The projects include equipment replacements, new substations, rebuilding of existing transmission lines and the construction of new lines.

The the upgrades will allow electricity to flow safely from other sources to replace the retiring generation.

"Even with the retirement of older coal-fired generators, we will have enough existing and new resources in the region to keep the lights on," says Terry Boston, president and CEO of PJM. "The transmission upgrades the board has approved ensure we will continue to deliver power to wherever people need it.

On a dollar basis, more than half of the improvements are in Ohio. The proposed retirement of generators along Lake Erie will require significant transmission upgrades in Ohio, particularly in the Cleveland area, PJM notes.

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